Eradicate corruption: Lokayukta

For a new beginning: Lokayukta, Justice N Santosh Hegde inaugurating the ‘Law Day’ celebrations organised by Bar Association in Hassan on Friday. Superintendent of Police K V Sharathchandra, Deputy Commissioner Naveenraj Singh, Bar Association President M N Jayram and senior advocate, H V Thimmegowda are also seen. DH photo

Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde on Friday said that he spent 64 years of his life like a frog in the well. But, he understood the corruption is deep-rooted in society only in the last four years.

Speaking after inaugurating the ‘Law Day’ celebrations organised by Hassan Bar Association here, he said the country had freedom fighters and patriots as their elected representatives in 70s.

During that time the cases of corruption in politics were very rare. However, in the last four decades, the politicians have surpassed everybody in corruption. Days of people belonging to the middle class and lower class are not far away if they failed to launch a movement against corruption.

He noted that corruption is not restricted to administration alone; but also spread its tentacles in legislature, judiciary and executive. Even journalism which is known as the fourth pillar of democracy, is also polluted. The Comptroller and Auditor General submitted a report in 2007-08 stating that the government has not given account for `51,000 crore released for uplift of poor. So far, no inquiry is held in this multi-crore scam.

New scams were being exposed daily. Till recently people had a confidence on judiciary that that it would uphold truth and does not spare the guilty. Now, charges were being made even against judges. This has made the people to lose faith on the Constitution which is as sacred as the Bhagavadgita, the Bible and the Koran. There is responsibility on every citizen to protect the sanctity of the Constitution.

The Lokayukta said the government implemented the Panchayat Raj system to empower rural people to fulfil the dreams of Mahatma Gandhiji.  Instead of power, what came to gram panchayat was corruption and politics. The electoral system has broken and many members of a family contesting the elections came into being. This is not democracy. They were forced to accept this system as they did not adhere to the Constitution.

In 2008, the Central Government insulted the Parliamentary system by adopting 17 bills in just 12 minutes. In the process, three important components in the Prevention of Corruption act, were removed without any discussion. Because of this, they were not in a position to punish the guilty. Time has come for the educated and responsible citizens to wake up and find out ways and means to protect the Constitution. A movement against corruption needs to be launched, he noted.

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